KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government must send a clear signal to the people that it is working hard to maintain political stability and unity through its full term and avoid the political crisis which plagued Malaysia over the last five years at its first-ever national convention on Sunday.

Political analyst Mujibu Abd Muis said the public should be made aware of the significant improvements chalked up over the last six months towards national unity by the new grand coalition of 19 component parties comprising some former arch rivals with a long history of political animosity.

The convention should therefore serve as an ideal platform to build on the success achieved so far and create stronger understanding and collaboration at the party level to ensure that continued political stability could be maintained, said Mujibu, who is also a Senior Lecturer at Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia.

More importantly, the unity and cooperation should especially permeate down to the grassroots level, which is why the convention is an ideal platform to “clear the air by building chemistry and compatibility,” he said on Bernama TV’s “The Brief” programme today.

About a thousand leaders and representatives from 19 component parties would attend the Unity Government National Convention, themed “Madani: Mewajahi Masa Depan Malaysia (Madani: Envisaging Malaysia’s Future)” at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur.

The message of unity from the convention was also vital for the international community especially foreign direct investors and their confidence they have in the Malaysian economy as they do not want a repeat of the political instability like what happened after the 14th General election.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, has since becoming Prime Minister focused on cost cutting measures, helping the low income groups through cheaper meals, fighting corruption, declaring the dismantling of monopolies to cut costs as well as undertaking significant measures pertaining to the rights of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

Mujibu said the convention should also be a platform to forge an agreement for all parties to avoid confrontation on potential sensitive issues, especially those touching on race, religion and strive towards building on government policies while maintaining their own status quo as a political party.

To this end, the convention needs to create a code of conduct or modus operandi for the new government to be operationalised which was important not only for the future of the coalition but also in building up unity to contest the upcoming state elections.

Despite their differences, parties themselves should strive for a working formula to strengthen and maintain the unity that they built on since starting the announcement of this coalition government last December.

“This unification must be translated into a working and convincing coalition, especially in the perception of the public,” he said.

This entails cooperation constructed on the progressive and non-extreme politics of race and religion usually associated with Malaysia’s national politics and to counter the tactics and narrative of the opposition.

Expecting the convention to come out with a declaration or joint manifesto, he said it should be an early commitment that could be developed as a roadmap not only meant for the people in the next state elections but as a working mechanism for the new government.

“From there, they can develop the manifesto for various consensus agreements at least  for the next state elections where they are not competing against each other (and if cannot), move as a single unit or political coalition in the next general election.” 

This convention will be a starting point to create a stronger understanding and collaboration at the party level with a clear message political stability can be maintained, he said, adding that “such a strategy is suitable for Malaysia as a multi racial country.”


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